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Fan Fiction » Rin » Check, Mate

Check, Mate
By; Rin

My best friend in the whole world has come from Germany to live with me for two whole months *SQUEE*! She and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner a few nights ago (for those of you who are not southern belles or country gentleman, Cracker Barrel is an old-fashioned restaurant/country store) and there was a rug checkerboard on a barrel in the store.

It took twenty minutes for Annabelle to beat me. And then I beat her in five minutes, quite mercilessly and torturously. I think she's traumatized for life. *biggrin*

Anyway, it got me thinking about two other very awesome sibling-like best friends who may have at one time played this game….For this reason, the following story is dedicated to the most beautiful, smartest, most hysterically uplifting best friend a girl could ever want - love you, Itchie! (personal nickname, FYI)*wink, wink*

Quest Compound
Second-level back porch
One hour until sunset

"Race, you can't do that."

The white-haired cowboy froze and glanced up at his reproachful opponent.

"Why not?" he questioned, his rugged Southern drawl saturated with pure confusion.

"Because it's not allowed, that's why not," replied Dr. Benton Quest patiently, though he knew Race was by no means that stupid.

Race Bannon replaced the queen onto the board and said evenly, "Is there anything in the rules that says I can't?"

The scientist sighed and rubbed his temples, as he wondered again why he'd agreed to this, even when he had known very well nothing good would become of it if it was attempted.

"Race, when the rules of chess were written, there was no such thing as an AK-47." (1)

"Well, there is now. And when you wanna kill a queen, that's the best one on the market for the job."

"Is that so?"

"Sure is." Again, he reached for the black queen on the other side of the board.

Benton smacked his hand away. "I feel so safe knowing that you're watching out for my family when you have that kind of skill of assassination, Race."

"You should."

"Please play by the rules."

The bodyguard growled something - Benton did not care to know exactly what - in the back of his throat, and dropped the queen back onto the board.


"Race, that is against the rules, then and now."

"What?" he crooned innocently. "It is a horse, ain't it?"

"No, it's a knight."

"But it's a horse."

He rubbed again at his aching temples and sighed deeply, struggling to maintain his calm mask of tolerance that had taken years of living with his insane family to build.

"Yes, Race; it is a horse. But it's considered a knight in the game - one singular piece."

"Race raised one eyebrow, obviously greatly amused as he watched his friend's normally cool, composed demeanor wavering.

Another slow exhale. "Let me simplify it for you, Race. This piece" - he picked up his friend's white knight - "can move to these squares." He indicated with swift, graceful movements. "This piece" - he picked up the king - "can move to these places." He illustrated again. "Do you understand that?"

"Check, mate," he cracked, then stifled a chuckle at his own wit.

Benton held back a groan. "I don't think you do, Race. Because if you did, you wouldn't be doing this." He took the two pieces and stacked the king atop the knight, making it appear as if the horse piece was galloping, with the white king on its back, to knock over the black king piece.

Race could not hold back his laughter now, and the deep snorts only heightened the poor scientists exasperation.

"Race, grow up."

He sobered. "Ahem. Sorry."

As Benton replaced the two pieces to their former squares, Race added under his breath, almost to himself,

"It's a horse."





"What are you doing?"

"Playing chess."

"No, you're not."

"I'm not?"

"No; you're insulting chess."

The cowboy scratched his head and scrutinized the chessboard. "How so?"

"First of all, we are not in the Agency or the military. Strategizing to speak past all my pieces in the dead of night when they're asleep is not going to win you the game."

"It worked when I had to save you from Jeremiah Surd's viruses in QuestWorld that one time."

"You did not save me; Hadji did. You couldn't even figure out how to start the QuestWorld program. You thought the spacebar was a place where aliens go to get drunk." (2)

Race snickered.

Benton shook his head. "We're getting off the subject. My point is, Race: the pawns are always awake in this game."

"Your…what? You mean those little pygmies?"

A pause. "What?"

"The little short black people in the front on your side. The pygmies, from Africa. Remember those little guys, in the Congo? They helped us take down those gators on the riverbank." He grinned at the obviously nostalgic memory. (3)

Benton blinked.


"THAT. IS. IT!" Benton pushed back from the deck table, sending the chess board - and all its tormented inhabitants - scattering across the porch's wooden planks.

"I thought you said you were gonna teach me how to play chess," Race called after him as he stormed away.

"I was!" The dark-haired scientist turned around, his hand on the porch door.

"Then where're you going?"

"I am going to get my metal detector."


"For the simple fact that I am now thoroughly convinced you are not Race Bannon." He pointed accusingly at the sniggering cowboy. "You are a robotic agent of Zin, sent for the specified purpose of driving me to absolute insanity!"

Race raised the usual arrogant eyebrow, his quirky smirk masking a full-blown grin. In a pathetic impersonation of the infamous Dr. Zin's scratchy, accented voice, he growled, "Checkmate, Benton Quest!" and added an evil, throaty chuckle.

Benton glared at Race with an expression on extreme non-amusement, crossed his sweater-clothed arms over his broad chest, rolled his dark eyes dramatically…

…and suddenly, the roar of laughter that had been threatening to break free since Race's first comical one-liner when they'd started the lesson three hours before echoed over the stilled Maine beach far below.

Race wasted no time in joining the laughing fit, and by the time they both were back to their partial-sanity, Race was bent over the table and Benton was collapsed against the doorframe.

They exchanged a minute-long dizzied look, each trying to get a firm hold on himself, and then Race cracked, "Wanna play again?"

Benton shook his head in defeat and leaned down to pick up one of the strewn rooks from the porch floor. When each king, queen, knight, bishop, rook, and pawn had been gathered, the two best friends reseated themselves in their respectable chairs.

With an extremely childish grin he would never have allowed his teasing blonde son to see, Benton declared,

"Check, mate!"

THE END…thank the Lord!

(1) I know as much about guns as the next storyteller, so you'll have to forgive me if this isn't a good choice in weaponry. *blushes*

(2) I don't remember if I thought this up on my own, or if I got it from a website. If the latter, it was probably Quest Enterprises: The Unofficial Homepage of Jonny Quest (at least, I think that's what it was called).

(3) Just to make it clear, I mean offense racially by this! I am white, but I think racism is very foolish and irrational; how people can say we're all God's children, but we can't all get along because of color, is beyond me. In fact, one of my two best friends is black, and he and his three brothers are like my family. Love you, big bro! *wink* (His name is KayJoel on this site, by the way.)

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